Factors influencing commercialization of indigenous Chicken in Njiru and Kasarani Districts in Nairobi County, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to establish factors influencing commercialization of indigenous chicken. Commercialisation in the context of this study is the process of keeping indigenous chicken for sale. Indigenous chicken form the largest poultry flock in Africa. They are found in almost every homestead in Africa. Many produce them for home consumption, visitors, gifts and religious ceremonies. While in other parts of the world, especially in Asia, China, Thailand and Taiwan, not only are they kept for home consumption but are heavily commercialized to the level of broiler poultry production. Commercialization is known to improve incomes. For a continent therefore whose people are among the poorest in the world, commercialization of indigenous poultry would enhance food security and improve household incomes. The study was done in Njiru and Kasarani districts of Nairobi County, Kenya. These are peri urban districts adjacent to each other and whose population are engaged in urban farming including poultry keeping in addition to other forms of employment. The study sought to find whether farmer training, appropriate poultry rearing practices, farmer networks, resources and demand influence commercialization of indigenous chicken. The design of this research was descriptive correlation survey. The study population for the research was 260 indigenous poultry farmers in Njiru and Kasarani districts. A semi structured questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample population of 52 indigenous chicken farmers selected through stratified sampling technique. In addition, information was obtained from all the 62 chicken traders serving the study area to enhance the study. Data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics by means of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The data analysed is in the form of frequencies, to determine number of farmers that embrace commercialisation and percentages, to determine the relationship of variables. The study established that commercialization of indigenous chicken was taking place in Njiru and Kasarani with 67.3% of chicken farmers rearing indigenous chicken for sale. The study also found that 82.7% of the indigenous chicken farmers were trained; that majority had adopted appropriate poultry practices while 65.4% belonged to farmer group networks that offered varied benefits. On resources, farmers had sufficient space to expand their chicken farming and time to care for chicken. However, engaging hired labour to take care of chicken was minimal and was done by 19.2% of farmers. Most farmers also had financial challenges to buy inputs. On the other hand demand for indigenous chicken was indicated by 92.35 of farmers to be high, with most farmers saying they were able to sell more than half or all their chicken produced.